Dating a guy who never had a girlfriend

I recall a series of ups and downs, in which I felt completely inadequate as a relationship partner. He always made me believe in his intentions, before retracting his words and making me feel crazy for believing his previous sentiments would hold weight.If you’ve ever dated a manipulator, you know what it’s like after you finally pull the plug.They’d all pursued me with strong initial interest.They were deep and perplexing, enticing since I loved a challenge.She constantly asks you why you love him and simultaneously thanks you for putting up with him."Really? I was sitting at the prettiest date restaurant, out with a guy I’d met several days before at a mixer.They were confident enough to break through my walls of busyness and fear, but their cocky attitudes eventually gave way to their deeply-rooted insecurities. I don’t see you with a smooth-talker, more of a legitimately good person.”I went to bed thinking about what he said, letting those seeds start to take root. Of course I wanted someone “good.” But did I actually look for that in practice, or just seek out recovering bad boys that I could rehabilitate toward some kind of “good-ish” end?They were engaging and charismatic, extremely smart and articulate. Sometime around Christmas, five months into my Year Without Dating, I realized what a relationship was supposed to be.

That would be my last date before a self-imposed dating sabbatical. I had been like that for months, emotionally battered after my last relationship and closed off to connection.First dates left me feeling hollow, bored, and out of touch. Not because I was still bleeding from the months of emotional manipulation, but because I’d slowly cauterized myself to emotions at all.I was numb to new prospects, and unsure what I was looking for.I believed them, because there wasn’t another option; their behavior was all I knew, and everything I was conditioned to cope with. These friends built me up, and they never packed drama.I wasn’t creating five-step plans to help them end their toxic relationships, discussing them to death as they never followed through on their promises to leave.

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